I was just as outraged as the rest of the world when I first saw the video of Amy Cooper wielding her white privilege in Central Park, her shrieks penetrating like a sword in an ultimately futile attempt to cut down Christian Cooper (no relation). One month later, the video is now at 45 million views.
In fact, I was so very outraged I consciously chose to ignore the slight inflicted by Christian’s sister, Melody, in her tweet that circled the globe.
At the time of the incident, Amy’s name was of course unknown so Melody dubbed her what every obnoxious white woman has been called as of late—Karen.
Meeting someone named Karen was once a moment of solidarity for me. White. Black. Asian. Didn’t matter. “There’s always three of us,” I would quip at parties. No longer.
Months ago my siblings, who have more exotic names than plain Karen (OK “Sean” isn’t exotic in Dublin but in our South Bronx school he was sometimes called "Seen") began texting me memes of the horrible things “Karen” had done or said.
What fresh hell is this? I mean, why Karen? Some of my best friends over the years have been named Karen. Why not Jane or Carol or Alice? Or Hillary. Fine. Maybe she’s been pilloried enough!
Final straw: Just last week my brother sent a video of a woman raging (of course!) in a store. I have to admit it’s pretty hilarious. "Karen forgot her meds” read the tweet.
I am now the member of another oppressed group: I am African-American, left-handed and a woman—and my name is Karen.
I like to make stuff...and think about stuff.